Archive for August, 2018


Going up a little late, not terrible though. I admit, I spent most of the day in line at the book store and hunting down a novel I’ve been massively looking forward to. That’s for later though. This time I’ve got Leander Watts’ Meet Me in the Strange for you, courtesy of netGalley. Enjoy!

Meet Me in the Strange cover

Davi’s life is comfortable, if uneventful. Uneventful, at least until that Django Conn show and Anna Z. Uneventful, until the gorgeous girl and all her talk talk talking about the alien drift and other dimensions. Uneventful, until Anna Z.’s brother comes hunting for her and they make a run for it, following Django Conn and all the glister and glam that follows the man and his music.

There is a level of oddity I expect from a book titled Meet Me in the Strange. Even more so when it features a rock star/ possible otherworldly being as a major part of the story. Leander Watts presents something a bit beyond the expected level of odd, though enjoyable so.

This is a book that thrives on its setting and the interactions between Davi and Anna Z., or rather how taken with Anna Z. Davi is. She does most of the talking between the two of them, and it paints these fantastic jumbles of ideas and thoughts. Frankenstein’s monsters and souls from the way way out there, the evolution and change of humanity and a sort of mutation of the soul, it’s got this fantastic patter to it that dances along to an almost hypnotizing beat. She’s out there and disconnected, but then it works.

Then there’s the setting. There’s this whole retro-future deal where they’re talking about recent space visits and Davi’s buying music on records, but then instead of feeling set in the past it feels like the future as seen by the 80’s. The Angelus hotel is stately and elegant and a historic throwback that draws in all manner of fancy visitors. Anna Z. talks about classic horror movies and old stories in relation to Homo Lux and the alien drift. But then there’s this bright energy with the glam-boys and glister-girls and the teen speak used. It’s unfamiliar, but feels right from a words perspective. Like, I really enjoyed the slang as part of the world building because even when I didn’t get it, it felt right.

If I have an issue with the book though, it’s that the plot is really not present for most of the run of the book. The antagonist takes awhile to show up and we’re told how much of a threat he is and shown how scared of him Anna Z. is and then not a lot happens with him. When I said that the book thrives on its setting and character interactions, that’s almost all it has. This wasn’t a major problem for me because of how much I enjoyed everything else. But it is the weakest part of the book.

So, in a lot of ways Meet Me in the Strange makes me think of Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie, just with the way it feels. It’s spacey and odd and a ton of fun. It says, at times, quite a lot but also very little. The chapters are short and it feels a bit like eating chips, you just want to keep going. I actually really want to listen to some of the music from the book’s world, to catch the kind of wild brilliance that Davi and Anna Z. hear. It gets a four out of five from me. The weakness of the plot is the only thing keeping it from getting the full five.

I ran a bit late with this one. The nice folks at Scribe Stash were kind enough to supply me with a box for review in July. They’ve got a really good selection of customization options including the colors you want included and genre preferences. I went with cool colors and YA horror.

July Box1

I do really like that the name I gave them for customized items was stamped on the box. That is just super cool to me and it’s a nice touch that I haven’t seen before.

July Box2

Digging into the box itself there’s a new release novel, Now You See Her by Lisa Leighton and Laura Stropki, it sounds really cool from the blurb so I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out. There’s also a rather nice notebook, it’s pages are unlined and they feel fantastic. The paper feels top tier and I’m going to be looking for a project for this note book in the near future.

July Box3

But then we get to the rest of the scribe aspect of the box. Beyond that notebook, the rest of the box is a bit underwhelming. None of it really fits together beyond the color scheme and none of it, aside from the bookmarks, is anything I couldn’t find shopping around town. The book marks were a fun touch.

While you do get your money’s worth here, the writing implements and second writing pad leave me with the impression that Scribe Stash goes too hard on letting customers customize their boxes, so they stretch themselves super thin to have new release books for each choice and stuff for each color combination. It leaves it feeling scattered because, to account for any choice combination, they can’t have any sort of box theme to tie everything together. They can’t really have anything that ties specifically to any one of the books either. This isn’t something I expected myself to say walking into this, but I think that cutting back on options and having a cohesive monthly theme would let Scribe Stash have across the board higher quality items and let them dig into nifty things that they couldn’t while having to juggle so many combinations of items.

I think that I like the box better in concept than in practice, but I do very much like the idea of what they’re doing and hope that they continue doing well.